Blog on Art Marketing and Selling Art


What Would You Ask Leonardo da Vinici?

Imagine standing in front of your greatest artistic "hero." . . .a grand master who stands atop the very pinnacle of his artistic craft.  You've been granted a moment of his time to ask ONE question.  What would you ask him?We're soliciting your feedback.  Send us your questions.  As we plan future blog posts and newsletters in our free daily art newsletter, FineArtViews, we're developing a list of questions to ask master artists.  We plan to share their answers with you, dear artist.  So put your thinking cap on, now is the time to craft that one questions you've always wanted [...]

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An Idea for Pricing Paintings

Have no clue how to get started with pricing your work?Here's an idea  (created with paintings in mind, I don't know as much about photography and sculpture)1.  Make a list of the number of paintings you did last year (or expect to do this year)2.  Figure the number of square inches of each one3.  Add them up to Get your total yearly number of square inches4.  If you don't paint full time, adjust the figure to what you"could" produce if you did5.  OK, now add up the cost of all your art supplies (and other expenses) for a year6.  Decide how [...]

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A Letter from an Art Collector

We know that you, dear artists, wonder what thoughts we art collectors ponder.  Many of us suffer from Stendhal Sydrome....but we wouldn't have it any other way.  We received the following letter from a fellow "sufferer."  Enjoy.--------------------------------------Dear Clint,I derive such great pleasure from looking at and studying art, in all it's forms. A fine afternoon to me is simply to be in a city that has many galleries and to spend time ( not in a hurry) cruising through them, not with the intent to purchase but simply to FEEL. Many times I have felt alone in this pursuit as I [...]

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Use Image ALT Tags

Yesterday, we discussed the fact that Search Engines Can Only Read Text.  So what do you do with your images?  The answer is in using ALT tags.As more people take advantage of the image search features on the various search engines, a good technique for improving your search engine results is to use ALT tags on all your images.An ALT tag is a bit of text embedded in the HTML code that tells the search engine WHAT your image is.For example the simplest way to add an image to your web site is with the following HTML:<img src="yourimage.jpg">However, let's say that [...]

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Search Engines Can Only "Read" Text

Search Engines send "spiders" crawling over the internet, "reading" the text from web sites and organizing that text into the useful results that we use. At this time, search engines can only "read" text.  Why do I bring this up?  Simple.  Any content that you think is important for a search engine to find must be text  (hint - all of your content is important). This means: 1.  Important content shouldn't be "hidden" in flash 2.  Important content shouldn't be "hidden" in images 3.  Important content shouldn't be "hidden" in video 4.  Important content shouldn't be "hidden" in audio files 5.  Important content shouldn't be "hidden" with fancy [...]

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Now EVERYONE Can "Paint" Like Jackson Pollock

At the risk of enduring a few barbs from Jackson Pollock fans, today we offer more proof that he was a master of nothing more than tomfoolery and humbug disguised as art. You may have seen this before, but the following site will allow you to create your own digital "Pollock" in mere moments (mine is pictured above). http://www.jacksonpollock.org Quite telling is the fact that no one has yet created a site to automate the process of "painting" like Rembrandt, da Vinci, Titian, Monet or any others that we would consider to actually be artists. Sincerely, Clint Watson Software Craftsman and Art Fanatic PS:  Jackson Pollock fans and [...]

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Tips for Generating Leads from AT&T

AT&T has been a pain for me to deal with and recently, in attempting to upgrade my phone service and take advantage of a special offer they had on their web site, I ended up spending nearly seven hours on the phone either on hold or talking with incompetent support reps.  I ended up switching my phone service to another company.Nevertheless, I ran across the following "Tips for Generating Leads" in an At&t magazine advertisement.  The are good tips worth sharing - too bad At&t hasn't learned to provide good customer service....AT&T's Tips for Generating Leads1. OFFER INCENTIVES FOR REFERRALS THAT [...]

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The Only Way You'll EVER Sell Art

People buy art for all kinds of reasons, but in the end, all of them boil down to wants.  If someone doesn't want to buy your art - they won't. Wants can be created in a variety of ways. Sometimes a want is a result of wanting to avoid something else.  Let's take an extreme example: You could hold a gun to someone's head and demand he buy your art...he WOULD want to do it . . . at least at that particular moment.    More realistically, I don't want my wife to be unhappy.  If SHE loves a particular artwork, then I [...]

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The Single Most Important Question In Marketing

With every message you put in front of your prospective clients, you should carefully consider your customer's needs and wants.  The best way to do that is to put yourself into your client's shoes and ask, "What's in it for me?" I've been in marketing a long time and although Iíve always instinctively understood that all marketing must be considered from the client's point of view, it's only within the past couple of months that I've noticed people discussing the WIIFM (What's in it for me?) question. I like the concept, WIIFM.  I've started approaching every blank piece of paper with the question [...]

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A Lesson From Sir James Dyson

You've probably seen Sir James Dyson on TV.  He stands next to his best-selling vacuum cleaner and proclaims, "I just think things should work properly."  He's also one of the richest guys in Britian. What you probably don't know about Sir Dyson is that he made 5,127 prototypes of his vacuum cleaner before he "got it right." It seems to me that there were already plenty of good vacuum cleaners on the market, but Sir Dyson wanted to create one that was "great." I imagine that you feel that way too.  You want to create "great" artwork....not just good artwork.....and not just what everyone [...]

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Fine Art Views Free Newsletter Launching Tomorrow

Tomorrow, we're launching a free e-newsletter called Fine Art Views.  Fine Art Views will be straight talk about Art, Marketing, Inspiration, and Fine Living For Artists, Collectors and Galleries (And anyone else into art).It will provides an eclectic combination of articles about all things art.  From creativity and success tips to artist reviews and marketing ideas that really work, there's something for all artists, collectors and galleries.In short, it will be the type of articles you read in this blog and more delivered to your email inbox on the schedule most convenient for you.Click the link below and pick your preferred [...]

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An "Artful" Way to Cut Your Tax Bill

An "Artful" Way to Cut Your Tax BillBy Kieran Doherty Originally for Early to RiseIf -- as I do -- you feel it is important to give to worthy charities, here's a way you can be generous to others while you cut your tax bill by several thousand dollars . . . or, if you're in a high bracket, by a great deal more. And it's a way you can cut your tax bill without raising a "red flag," provided you follow the rules carefully.This perfectly legitimate strategy came to me from Mike Kuschmann, a fine-arts dealer I've known for several [...]

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Creative Inertia

Building habits and committing to work at a given activity daily creates a condition I call "Creative Inertia."  The creativeness and excitement we feel toward a project and the level of action we take toward it can be accelerating or decelerating depending on our inertia.  Fortunately, we can make a conscious decision to change direction (if decelerating) and start building inertia in the opposite direction.Here's a personal example.I accomplished a great deal in March.  Many improvements were made in my software, I wrote in my journal and my blog nearly every day.  The "creative inertia" was on my side and I [...]

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Strategies for Increasing Traffic or Gaining Email Addresses

Here are a few strategies for increasing traffic to your web site and for encouraging people to sign up for your email newsletter an important goal, as we discussed yesterday in "The Real Goal of Your Web Site."In addition to the personal, ongoing strategies we discussed in Focus the Lens - Marketing Email Campaign, here are some more strategies:1.  Give away a "freebie" in exchange for their email addressPerhaps a free ecalendar featuring your artwork.  A free report that you've written about your artwork technique for other artists.2.  Get other people to drive traffic to your site.  This is called "affiliates" [...]

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The Real Goal of Your Web Site

Successful marketers know that the best strategists  take their offers TO the customers rather than waiting for the customers to come to them.  That's why the primary goal of your web site is building your "house" email list.One strategy for marketing a business is to set up shop and wait for customers to come to you.  A gallery could, for example, lease a location, invest in lighting, inventory and staff and open their doors.  Day after day, salespeople could sit and wait for customers to walk through the door.  Occassionally, a sales would be made, but why follow up with those [...]

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Gallery Protectionism: Poor Thinking and Poor Marketing

Many people in the art business try to create alliances that "protect" themselves from what they consider to be "unfair" competition.  This practice, on the surface, seems to make sense, but over the long run ends up hurting the marketing efforts of those who engage in it.  Let me explain with a story . . .Last week, I had the opportunity to visit Laguna Beach and naturally spent some time "gallery hopping."In visiting with the gallery folk, I had a chance to visit with "Vincent"  (The names in this story have been changed).  We discussed several topics, but the thing that [...]

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Pilate's Peer Pressure

Your dealer calls with good news:  He just sold the only seascape you ever painted.  He wants you to paint nothing but seascapes now....but you really don't like painting seascapes....should you do it?You've been painting part-time for a couple of years, you've only sold a couple of pieces, you're not sure your ready to go full time, yet your friends all think you're great and want you to quit your day job and go full-time.  Should you?You're excited about becoming an artist and your gut tells you to go to art school, but your parents think you should get a "real" [...]

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Put Your Artwork On Your Business Card

Last weekend I was in Laguna Beach and naturally went gallery hopping.  Two gallery owners gave me their business cards.  The first was your standard business card.  The second one had a beautiful painting printed on it.  Guess which one I've looked at (and remember) more? [...]

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Do You Market with Your Packing?

When you sell a piece of art, do you take the opportunity to use the shipment as a marketing point?  What do I mean? 1.  Do you make the packaging look professional? 2.  Do you include printed materials about you and your work? 3.  Do you include photos or a catalogue of other artwork you have available? 4.  Better Yet, do you include photos of other pieces you are personally recommending to the client? 5.  Do you include a personal thank you note? 6.  Have you considered including a voucher good for a dollar amount off of the customer's next purchase (these burn a hole in the [...]

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